Douglas Bagnall sentenced to 5 years for fatal impaired driving crash near Lethbridge

The road to justice has been long and emotional for the Provost family.

On Tuesday, the sentencing of the man who caused their loved one’s death marked the end of the court process.

Douglas Bagnall, 63, was sentenced to five years behind bars. He has three left to serve after credit was given for pretrial custody.

He was charged after a car travelling east in the westbound lanes of Highway 3 near Coalhurst, Alta., slammed into Barnaby “Barney” Provost’s vehicle in June 2018. Provost was 42 years old, a husband, father, brother, son and friend.

“I always think about him. He was such a good man, so powerful, so strong and elegant leader,” said Tobias Provost, Barney’s brother.

“Blackfoot country has lost a great son, and this man, who was driving on the wrong side of the road, killed my brother.”

The crash happened on June 25, 2018. Bagnall was charged that November.

Provost was a Pikanii Band councillor and highly regarded by community members as a man larger than life with a big laugh, big heart and an even bigger love for children.

During the sentencing, a number of victim impact statements were read into record, many from community organizations and leaders praising his work and passion for creating a better future.

The court process has been long and drawn out due to several failure to appear court dates by Bagnall, who missed three dates before his bail was revoked.

Bagnall was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing death and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration exceeding 80 milligrams causing death.

Court heard his blood-alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit and that he told officers at the crash scene he drank 26 ounces of vodka the night before.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing death.

Bagnall was given an opportunity to speak at his sentencing.

He told court: “I truly am sorry for my actions that lead to this terrible death. I am so sorry.”

The Crown was seeking six to eight years in jail. The defence was asking for time served and three years probation.

Along with his five-year jail sentence, Bagnall was handed a three-year driving prohibition.

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